The Year of the Yin Metal Ox, When Hard Work Pays Off

The Year of the Yin Metal Ox, When Hard Work Pays Off

Among the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the ox is probably the hardest working. Oxen are bred to put in day after day after day of manual labor – plowing, pulling carts, towing water, threshing grain, and more. Without the ox, countless humans would have died of starvation over the past few millennia. They have been incredible allies in human development.

What that means in Chinese astrology is that the coming year (beginning on February 11, 2021) is one in which hard work, honesty, and discipline will be rewarded. Just think of a vast agricultural field – row after perfect row plowed in steady, unwavering lines. 2021 is a good year to emulate such a steady and methodical approach to life. In return, it’s said that we can expect a year that’s much more harmonious, calm, and predictable than 2020.

Given the ox’s power, stamina, and purpose, the year of the Metal Ox is also predicted to be one of reconstruction and order, when much of the conflict and confusion of the previous year can be healed. A strong, new foundation can be built. Work is required, and it may be harder work than we’re accustomed to. Also, like beasts of burden, we may feel the weight of our responsibilities more heavily than usual. However, we can rest assured that if we stay the course, it will pay off. Finances will return, family and social order will return, and like the ox, we’ll feel perpetually grounded in the solid earth beneath our feet.

It’s a great year to be organized and follow a consistent routine. If you don’t already have our Dreambook, I encourage you to get one and begin using it. It will help you create a whole-life plan and follow through on it. If you already have the Dreambook and need more support throughout the process, check out the Dreaming and Planning course.

Some of my favorite words on work come from Kalil Gibran. I can barely decide which ones to share, but here are a few:

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music . . . .

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labor a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of the earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.


So don’t be daunted by the promise of work ahead. We can do it and we’ll all be the better for it.

A last word from my friend Karim: another way to look at OX is that it represents hugs (O) and kisses (X), so let’s all intend to be sharing many of both with our friends, family, teachers, mail carriers, baristas, bus drivers, garbage collectors, etc., very soon.

Be well,


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